For more information on the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, visit the Vatican's webpage.

Maryland Catholic Conference Extends Congratulations, Gratitude to Archbishop O'Brien

Statement by Executive Director Mary Ellen Russell

It is with a mixture of happiness and regret that we congratulate Archbishop O'Brien on his appointment today as Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. His acceptance of this new opportunity reflects a spirit of enthusiastic and humble commitment to the Church that we have come to cherish in our work with the Archbishop here in Maryland. While we will miss his presence, we know well that Catholics throughout the world will benefit from the great gifts the Archbishop will bring to this prominent and critically important service to the Catholic Church.

As chairman of the Maryland Catholic Conference, Archbishop O'Brien has been a vocal and passionate advocate in the public square, and a highly regarded champion of the poor, the unborn, the immigrant, the prisoner on death row, the importance of marriage and the family, and the rights of students in our Catholic schools. At the same time, he has also strongly supported efforts to assist and encourage the Church's pastors and other leaders, and all Catholics in Maryland, to exercise their rights and responsibilities as faithful citizens, and leaves the Church in Maryland well positioned to carry on this vital work. As we advocate in the near future for these key issues to the Church and society, we will continue to take advantage of his insights during the next several months while the Archbishop remains as the Archdiocese's apostolic administrator.

It has been a privilege to serve the Church under Archbishop O'Brien's leadership, and I offer him my deepest personal gratitude and heartfelt prayers for success in his new and exciting ministry.

Maryland Catholic Conference advocates for the Church's public policy positions before the Maryland General Assembly and other civil officials. The Conference represents all three dioceses with territory in the state – the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.